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Tying Pointe Shoe Ribbons

tying pointe shoes

How are pointe shoe ribbons tied?

To tie the ribbons on, cross them over the top of the foot. Then bring them to the back of the ankle on either side. Cross them at the back and bring them back to the front.

Now, bring one ribbon to the inner side of the ankle and hold it there. Bring the other ribbon around the back of the ankle again, until it meets the first ribbon on the inner ankle.

Tie a double knot in the hollow area between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Never tie ribbons on the Achilles tendon, at the back of the ankle, because this can damage the tendon. Finally, tuck the ends of the knotted ribbons under the wrapped ribbons, for a neat appearance.

If there is too much excess ribbon after you tie the knot, it may be difficult to tuck the ends in neatly. While the shoes are tied, you may trim the ends. Be careful not to trim too far, though, or the shoes may be hard to tie in future, especially if the ribbon shrinks slightly after being worn.

Beginners should not trim the ribbons at all until the teacher has approved how the ribbons have been sewn and tied. Trimming on a slant may help prevent unraveling of the cut edge.

Remember that the “inside the ankle” and “outside the ankle” ribbons on each shoe have different distances to go as they wrap around the ankles. If you haven’t yet decided which pointe shoe you will wear on the left or right foot (or if you choose to alternate feet), and you trim too much, you could end up with one ribbon that is too short on each foot.